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China Ready To Discuss Reopening Of Nathu La Pass Shut Down During Doklam Standoff

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
524
| } September 12 , 2017 , 17:09 IST

In a significant sign of improvement in the relations between India and China, on Tuesday, China said that it is ready for talks to consider reopening the Nathu La pass for Indian pilgrims journeying to Kailash Mansarovar which had been closed in mid-June due to the military standoff at the Doklam plateau.

"China is ready to keep communication with the Indian side in regard to opening of the pass and other issues concerning the pilgrimage by Indians," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in Beijing.

Although the 73-day military standoff at the Doklam plateau was resolved diplomatically last month, the pass remained closed for Indian pilgrims.  

ALSO READ: China Denies Entry To Kailash Mansarovar Pilgrims

The Nathu La pass which is a shorter route to Kailash Mansarovar as compared to the Lipulekh pass was opened for Indian pilgrims in 2015 by China.

"For a long time, China has made great efforts against all odds to provide necessary convenience to Indian pilgrims," Geng said.

"And according to the agreement reached between two state leaders (Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and the fact that the western sector of the India-China boundary has been recognised by the two sides, China used to open the pass to the Indian pilgrims and this operation has gone very well," Geng said.

"However in this June, Indian troops illegally crossed the border, which led to tensions in the border areas of the two sides," he added.

"So the pass was suspended due to this consideration," said Geng.

The military standoff between troops of India and China began in June when India protested to road construction exercises by China in the Doklam plateau area at the tri-junction border between India,  China and Bhutan.